Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Christmas-Spiced Greek Honey Dainties

December 4, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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christmas-spiced greek honey dainties

Greek Honey Dainties are more often known as melomakarona, and I see them all the time in bakeries in NYC. It’s about time I made some of this deliciousness at home. I sadly never seem to get around to making many Christmas cookies, so I took this as an opportunity to get festive and made the Christmas-Spiced Honey Dainties version. The batter is easy to put together and flavored with so many good things, like orange juice and zest and the usual holiday spice suspects. It is a soft dough though, so I chose to refrigerate it for about half an hour before I scooped and shaped the cookies into their traditional ovals.

After baking and cooling, the cookies are drenched a few times over in a honey syrup similar to the one baklava is soaked in and sprinkled with walnuts (which I toasted while the cookies baked). The honey syrup, btw, is amazing! I veered slightly off the recipe, which called for orange peel, cinnamon stick and whole cloves, and used some mulling spice mix that I have in a little tin (it also has allspice berries and star anise pods in it) and finished it off with a splish of Grand Marnier while it cooled. You bet I saved every leftover drop….I think it will be awesome in tea or hot toddys. The cookies, too, are awesome. They must be handled carefully, but they do keep their texture, even with all that syrupy goodness poured over them. So perfect with coffee, and I’ll soon test them with vin santo…if there is probably a Greek sweet wine I should know about pairing with them, please let me know.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and please join us if you haven’t already.


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  1. I agree with your decision to refrigerate the dough. I will do this next time as well. Your cookies look amazing.

  2. I baked mine with the soft dough, and though I was skeptical, I didn’t have any problems. They look great, and I bet your place SMELLED wonderful!

  3. I will also take your advice and refrigerate the dough prior to forming. I look forward to making the Christmas spice version and that honey syrup.

  4. These sound wonderful, and the burnished colour of your cookies is gorgeous. I am looking forward to making these.

  5. I baked them with the soft dough and they did not retain their oval shape. Also, I made the Christmas version but mine are pale in colour – how come yours are so dark? Is it from the honey syrup?

    • i could barely form them with the soft dough, which is why i popped it in the fridge for a bit. as for the color, i noticed mine looked darker than others, but those folks had done the regular version so i assumed it was from the added spices in the dough and in the syrup. if your christmas version wasn’t the same, maybe it’s because i used mulling spices that i have (they aren’t ground, but more like chipped up bits of whole spices) in the syrup…perhaps that gave off extra color. also i don’t use white granulated sugar at home…i use an organic cane sugar that has a beige tint to it…i don’t know if that makes a huge difference but i do notice in things that should be a pure white, like meringue, i always get a more toasty color.

  6. Huh. I left a comment here and came back to see if you had replied. I made this version (and found the cookies super fussy to work with after baking – they really do fall apart!) but mine are nowhere near the colour of yours – how did you get the great colour on yours?

    • mine didn’t fall apart…they were crumbly when i bit into them, but they stayed intact with the syrup poured over three times (which i was surprised by, actually). i did move them around with an offset spatula just to be safe, though.

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